Lydia O’Connor, HuffPost
New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing hard on her demands that Congress pay its staffers and interns a living wage.
The Democrat, who has vowed to pay her interns at least $15 an hour, shared her concerns Tuesday in response to a viral tweet pointing out how lawmakers seeking unpaid interns are excluding everyone but those rich enough to work for free.
Her remarks on Tuesday follow similar concerns she raised the day before when she met Capitol Hill staffers and interns who said they were working second jobs at a restaurant to make end’s meet.
“It is unjust for Congress to budget a living wage for ourselves, yet rely on unpaid interns & underpaid overworked staff” to help carry the workload, she wrote.
A study last year by the advocacy group Pay Our Interns found that only 51 percent of Republican senators offer paid internships and just 31 percent of Democrats do. Things are much worse over in the House, where just 8 percent of Republican interns are paid and a measly 3.6 percent of Democrats interns are.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.